Exploring the biomechanical properties of brain malignancies and their pathologic determinants in vivo with magnetic resonance elastography

Yann Jamin, Jessica K R Boult, Jin Li, Sergey Popov, Philippe Garteiser, Jose L Ulloa, Craig Cummings, Gary Box, Suzanne A Eccles, Chris Jones, John C Waterton, Jeffrey C Bamber, Ralph Sinkus, Simon P Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Malignant tumors are typically associated with altered rigidity relative to normal host tissue. Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) enables the noninvasive quantitation of the mechanical properties of deep-seated tissue following application of an external vibrational mechanical stress to that tissue. In this preclinical study, we used MRE to quantify (kPa) the elasticity modulus Gd and viscosity modulus Gl of three intracranially implanted glioma and breast metastatic tumor models. In all these brain tumors, we found a notable softness characterized by lower elasticity and viscosity than normal brain parenchyma, enabling their detection on Gd and Gl parametric maps. The most circumscribed tumor (U-87 MG glioma) was the stiffest, whereas the most infiltrative tumor (MDA-MB-231 metastatic breast carcinoma) was the softest. Tumor cell density and microvessel density correlated significantly and positively with elasticity and viscosity, whereas there was no association with the extent of collagen deposition or myelin fiber entrapment. In conclusion, although malignant tumors tend to exhibit increased rigidity, intracranial tumors presented as remarkably softer than normal brain parenchyma. Our findings reinforce the case for MRE use in diagnosing and staging brain malignancies, based on the association of different tumor phenotypes with different mechanical properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1216-1224
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Research
Volume75
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015

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